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CNN Cans President Jonathan Klein, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker Calls It Quits

Jeff Zucker in Los Angeles at the premiere of the film <em>Love Happens </em>in September.
Jeff Zucker in Los Angeles at the premiere of the film Love Happens in September.

There have been leadership shake-ups at two major media organizations. The CEO of NBC Universal, Jeff Zucker, announced his decision to step down soon, and CNN's president, Jonathan Klein, has been replaced.

Gawker put it best: "One Media Exec Resignation Away From a Trend Today."

In an e-mail message, Zucker said he will leave the company after Comcast acquires it. According toThe New York Times, "the deal is expected to close at the end of the year, following regulatory approval."

TVNewser has a copy of the memo.

"It has not been an easy or simple decision," he writes. "I have spent my entire adult life here, more than 24 years."

This is the only place I have ever worked. The only professional thing I have ever known. I met my wife here, enjoyed the birth of our four children in that time, worked in almost every division of the company. And forged relationships, both professional and personal, that will last a lifetime.

According to reporter Gabriel Sherman, Klein was fired two days ago.

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton, who was in New York visiting from Atlanta, called a meeting with Klein, but ominously didn’t tell him what it was about. When Klein arrived, Walton cursorily told him he was being removed, to be replaced by HLN chief Ken Jautz. It was a brief conversation.

“People get shot in our business. I got shot,” Klein said in a phone interview.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.